A Guide to Buying Junior Golf Equipment
Gone are the days when you would cut down your old clubs to accommodate your kid's passion and interest in playing golf. While some of the world's greatest players grew up using old cut clubs, research shows that it can erode the child's interest and make the transition to adult golf difficult. In most cases, you'll find the cut-down clubs are too heavy or too stiff, which affects swinging and hitting accuracy.
It is important to note that children can start playing golf as soon as they can stand on their two feet. Remember, you also don't need to force a child into playing golf, as it is best when it's passion-driven. In that regard, you can always register them in beginner golf lessons, which is less costly and, most importantly, theoretical. Before purchasing a brand new set of golf clubs, you can even get a second-hand set to gauge their interest in playing outside of golf lessons. After all, it wouldn't cost you much to do due diligence before channeling a significant investment into your child's would-be career or hobby.
Many parents often get confused when it comes to purchasing golf clubs for their kids, especially when they themselves aren’t golf fanatics. Well, here is a formidable guide that will see you through if you ever find yourself in such a position:
Any child between the age of 1 and 5 should first train with a putter before moving into a real club that launches the ball into the air. A putter will teach your child how to aim accurately and hit the target in the desired direction. You should consider a putter constructed on steel since it is durable and built for longevity. You can also opt for graphite material though it isn’t very common. Graphite is lightweight and ideal for any amateur.
When getting a putter, consider buying one with rubber grips for ergonomics and firmness. Children can sometimes get experimental, and you wouldn't want them to swing so hard, hurting themselves or someone next to them.
What Is The Right Set Of Golf Clubs?
From the age of 7 onwards, you can start buying real clubs that launch the golf ball into the air. It is important to consider that kids are fascinated by just hitting the ball and not winning like their older professional counterparts. The lesser you stuff the golf bag, the better for them as they get accustomed to what exactly is required to play the game. You can always add other golf clubs when they improve to round out their maximum capabilities.
What Is The Appropriate Length?
While chasing distance might seem important and crucial for mastering the art of the game, never let your children play with drivers that are too long. A disproportionate driver will decrease the hand speed and force juniors to adapt to more than one swinging style. A longer club would probably be heavier, which also affects the smash factor.
We advise that you get a manufacturer who sells different sets, each tailored to meet certain height requirements. The variation between one set and another should be a three-inch segment. The best thumb rule for getting the right length isn't even the age factor but the height factor. Don't be afraid to put that tape measure on your child to determine their height. Remember, two children who are aged 7 might have two distinct heights.
Appearance shouldn't come before performance, even though most manufacturers use colors to differentiate boys' kits from girls' kits. However, it would be best if you still watched out for clubs that promote a "cool" factor to boost your child’s enthusiasm for sports. Children love showing off, and if you get them a beautiful club, they will always look forward to golf times so that they can "intimidate" their colleagues, even if it's you.
Buying left-handed clubs is no longer a challenge thanks to professional players like Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, and Bubba Watson, who have proven that left-handed golfers can also dominate international arenas. While many parents tend to influence what hand their kids should play with, it is important to let them use what they are comfortable with. By the age of 5, it will be easier to spot whether your kid is left-handed or right-handed. Some kids also prefer to use their left hand when hitting the golf for accuracy, while in the real sense, they are right-handed.
What Is The Best Brand?
Lastly, you might be interested in knowing the right brand. Most golf clubs are equal in many ways, but the choice of brand is purely aesthetic and personal preference. There are many big manufacturers such as Cleveland, Taylor-made, Callaway, and U.S. Kids Golfs, which specializes in kids golfs only. Anecdotal accounts of many young players indicate that they have had an easier time buying from U.S. Kids Golfs. Among the things that you should consider when choosing a brand include price, quality, appearance, and after-sale services. Here at ERG, we offer golf club fittings for all ages, youth to adult.
Nurturing your child's talent and passion from a young age is a sure way of raising a star-to-be. Junior golf equipment manufacturers are already doing their job, designing what is best for the kids. It’s now your turn to channel that investment into something that both you and your child will enjoy for years to come!
Advice To Keep Junior Golfers Engaged
Golf can be enjoyed at any age, from youth to adult, novice to professional, it’s a lifelong game. Teach a child to play and they’ll have a foundation in place for decades of enjoyment on the course alongside friends and family.
Here are nine tips from ERG’s golf professionals Ernie Rose and Tim Jochim to keep golf fun and exciting for junior golfers.
Junior Golf Advice
Do Your Research
Research your area and locate an instructor who specializes in junior golf programs, is PGA certified, or at the least has significant experience teaching kids. Then, offer support and encouragement but allow the pro to give the golf advice. Too much information from too many sources can strip the joy from the process of learning how to play golf.
Group instruction works best. Encouraging practicing for a couple of hours a day because it means a chance to hang out with friends. With the time available between shots, golf is the most social game. Instruction should follow this lead. Kids who learn, laugh, improve and struggle together are more likely to return for more.
Younger kids need variety. You’re never too young to learn, but the smallest swingers need a mixture of activities to keep clinics and golf lessons fresh and exciting. Any activity that emphasizes hand-eye coordination, balance or athletic movement benefits a golfer’s early development. Even if it doesn’t include touching a golf club or ball.
Don’t sweat the details. Solid fundamentals are important, but it’s fine for a beginner to have flaws in their grip or stance as long as they are hitting the ball, having fun and wanting to return to the course. Encourage junior golfers to ask questions about why such a change might be necessary. That keeps the students invested in the decision.
Get on course - as soon as possible. Juniors golfers who spend too much time banging balls on the driving range can easily lose interest. Besides, the golf course is where the game really comes alive, remains fun and fresh, and poses a unique set of circumstances each day. A golfer understands the reason to spend quality time practicing chipping or bunker play once they’re faced with those challenges on the golf course.
Not all junior golfers will want to play in tournaments. Some might like to compete, but only in a group setting. And others may enjoy the game just because they can be outside and spend hours sharing good shots and laughter with friends. Let your child decide, it’s their journey. Parents who push their child down the wrong path may drive their child away from the game. The decision to pursue a tournament title, college scholarship or professional career should always come from the golfer.
Hit A Wall
Every golfer reaches a point where scores aren’t improving because putts don’t drop or drives miss their target. All athletes, even professionals have stretches where they simply don’t perform their best, sometimes for reasons that defy explanation. Dwelling on the negative can bring any golfer down. To maintain perspective, set reachable intermediate goals and keep the focus on the process of having fun.
Parents, don’t rush to spend on fancy equipment and clothes. Expose your child to the game first. Many instructors have clubs available for kids to use during lessons or clinics. If your child decides they like the game and want to continue playing, then find equipment that fits them. The wrong equipment can introduce bad swing habits. Proper club length and weight are imperative for young beginners.
Enjoy The Game
Enjoy this game together. Father or mother and son, father or mother and daughter. Walk nine holes on a warm summer evening. Start a holiday or vacation tradition of playing a round. Watch the major championships, learn the rich history of the game and discuss your favorite players. Attend a PGA or LPGA Tour event and observe those who play the game best.
Most of all, celebrate the good shots, forget the bad ones, laugh a lot and let each memory soak in.
If you have a great love of golf, you probably want to share the experience with your kids. Golf is the perfect sport for learning concentration, patience, and discipline, and can even teach valuable life lessons to children. It’s a sport that anyone at any age can enjoy.
We’ll take a look at what age kids can start golf lessons and give guidelines for each age group. We’ll also provide you with some resources for finding golf lessons for kids, along with all the ways kids can benefit from this fantastic sport.
At What Age Should Kids Start Golf Lessons?
At what age a child can start kids golf lessons will vary depending on the coaches in your area. Many coaches will take children as young as five, and other programs have higher age minimums. As soon as a child starts to show interest in golf is the best time to start teaching them how to play.
You can introduce a child as young as three to golf, and they can begin learning at home or by playing mini-golf. For older kids, there are even academies and boarding schools if the sport becomes a real passion.
3 to 5-year-olds
Children between the ages of three to five should be allowed to use golf freely as a form of play and fun. It’s important that this age group not be given too much technical instruction. If you push, they may lose interest.
You should provide them with the right size club and show them how to hold it. Spend time with them hitting balls around the yard and riding around in golf carts.
5 to 10-year-olds
By the age of five, children may be able to join in on kids’ golf lessons, individually or in a group. Group lessons are a good start and will teach them etiquette and sportsmanship.
Now is the time to make sure they don’t start to develop bad habits that they’ll have to work to undo later. Patience here will be necessary.
If they’re interested in other sports too, it’s essential not to limit them to just golf at this age. If their interest in golf continues to grow, they can specialize as they get a bit older.
10 to 14-year olds
For kids with keen interest, this age group can start to see benefits from individual junior golf lessons. This age group is when kids will also begin to transition from kids clubs to adult clubs.
Kids in this age group can also enjoy more options for golf programs, summer camps, and academies.
14 and older
Junior golfers aged fourteen and older will benefit the most from individual junior golf lessons, as they will generally have a greater attention span and stronger desire to learn.
There are many advanced options for golf lessons for juniors that they can now participate in at this age. There are numerous programs available for this age group if teenagers want to start learning to golf competitively.
Benefits of Golf Lessons for Kids
Playing golf is great fun, and children who play may only notice how much fun they’re having. But golf also provides many other benefits and can instill important qualities in children that will serve them well in adulthood.
Learning golf takes excellent discipline. Children will swing and miss far more often than they hit it in the beginning. Golfing requires concentration and patience, and practicing these skills will prepare them for tough tasks throughout life.
Golfers are usually responsible for keeping track of their scores. Often, kids will have to keep track of their numbers, too, which means they must also learn to be honest.
Golfing is a fun way to be active and get healthy exercise. It’s also one of the few sports that is gentle enough on the body that kids may be able to play for the rest of their lives. The fluid movements used are one of the reasons golf is popular among senior citizens.
How to Find a Kid’s Golf Instructor
There are resources available online to help you find kid’s golf instructors and programs near you. There are other resources online as well if you decide to go for a more advanced program or academy.
Ask for Recommendations
If you golf regularly, you probably know other parents who golf, and they may have coaches they use for their children. These parents can provide you with valuable insight into how the coach works, and what their results have been. They can also tell you what the kids think about the coach.
Social media is also an excellent resource for asking for recommendations. On these platforms, you can quickly receive information about multiple coaches, and people will often give additional insight into their personal experience with the coach they recommend. The information offered to you is all in one place, and you can easily compare and research from there.
Hiring a Kid’s Golf Instructor
As with hiring any professional, there are things to consider before choosing the coach you’d like to hire. It’s best to meet with the coach beforehand, and also consider visiting the facility to get a feel for the environment.
Consider the qualities you want to see in a junior golf coach. Bringing a list of questions can also be helpful.
Some things to consider in a coach:
Supporting your Child’s Love of Golf
Signing your child up for junior golf lessons is the first step in supporting your child’s passion. Another way to show your support is also one of the rewarding -- enjoy golf together!
Spend time together at a course, watch golf together on TV, and take them shopping for new apparel. You’ll make great memories together, and you’ll show them that you support their hobbies and passions. Making memories is one of the most significant benefits of teaching your child to golf.
Most Tour players I have worked for pull into the parking lot 2 hours before their tee time. They will grab something to eat 10-15 minutes followed by stretching or light work out in the fitness trailers for 20-30 minutes then start putting with a training aid like a chalk line or string or mirror to check their eye line followed by the driving range then chip then bunker shots then putt normally with 1 golf ball to end.
I have never had a player warm up with their Trackman before a competitive round. Most of the warm up on the range would be wedges and most guys hit 3-7 drivers is all. Some players use the even irons one day then odd irons the next day.
PGA Tour Weekend
One day out of the four your tee time is very early in the morning and if your playing well the other 3 days are in the afternoon.
Seems like every PGA tour event is set up the exact same way with excellent practice facilities to where almost every player has the exact same warm up routine.
Average Golfer’s Round of Golf
Most of us don’t have that time to warm up. Also we need to fix things in our swing on the range from the last time we played, unlike a tour player they have fixed there swing and are really just warming up. Often times our warm up is our only practice time. The best players are able to be technical on the range and not on the course. Good players are also able to self correct easily on the golf course and make corrections. I think understanding your faults is the first part to a good warm up. If you are a fader on the range you will most likely be a slicer on the golf course. Working on trying to hit a draw on the range when you warm up if you are a slicer is good practice. Realizing when you go to the first tee you will still be a fader. If you hit all fades on the range it will be hard to hit it straight when you get out there but you will have a better chance if you have been able to pull off a few draws on the range.
If you are lucky enough to have a 30 minute warm up I would work on your weaknesses for the first 20 minutes and then the last 10 minutes hit the shots you will need on the course that day. Going with what feels good and normal. Focusing on rhythm, tempo and balance. Keeping your grip pressure light and consistent, holding your finish until the ball lands. All the things you hope to do when the gun goes off.
Most teachers have great intentions and if you have been teaching for more than a few years you probably know the game otherwise no one would go to them and they would be out of business.
Often times when you are teaching all day long teachers get into teaching one way and telling all there students the same thing. I think every instructor is guilty of this. It’s easy to teach a system especially when you are teaching 10 lessons a day like most top ranked instructors are. Weather it’s the A swing, one plane, 2 plane or stack and tilt like anything there are trends and popular ways to swing every 5 years or so.Right now most teachers are teaching coming from the inside. 5 years ago it was stack and tilt and also the one plane swing. Truth is the fundamentals have not changed over the years. 2 of my favorite guys on tour are Charl Swartzell and Jim Furyk. Charl has one of the most fundamentally sound golf swings you will ever see and Furyk has one of the best body clear moves and best down swings on tour. Both have had there dad as their swing coaches their whole lives and don’t change it. They love their swings and trust them.
Accomplishing Swing Goals
I like teachers that go with what you have. They listen to what you want to accomplish and hear your goals before they start telling you what to do. They would ask you a series of questions starting with physical limitations and how much time per week you have to practice if any. What is your learning style. Most good teachers can pick up on a lot of these things by just talking to you and also it’s a great way for you to get comfortable and just be yourself and relax before you get started.
Video would be a must if you were going to teach my son or daughter and also a Trackman. I don’t want the instructor shooting from the hip or guessing as to what your doing with your swing. I like a instructor who lets you hit a lot of balls during a lesson and doesn